Only Immunized Pilgrims to Be Allowed in Mecca
Saudi Arabia will only allow pilgrims who are immunized against the coronavirus to perform the Umrah pilgrimage and prayers in the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca. The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah made the announcement in a statement issued Monday, Al Jazeera reported. Immunized individuals include those who have received two doses of a vaccine against the coronavirus, those who received one dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before performing the pilgrimage, or a person who has recovered from the virus. It is not known yet if the policy also will be left in place for the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which takes place this year in mid-July.
The policy was announced amid an increase in coronavirus infections in Saudi Arabia. Last year only 10,000 Saudi Muslims participated in the Hajj, which brings more than 2 million Muslims from around the world in a regular year.